More sad news to kick off the rant. Respect to the fallen, but here's a case where you've got an illegal street race, winter condition city streets and a clear statement that the cyclist ran the light. Since he was leading the race it's very likely he was flying full out. He made that choice, a hundred meters from the line, go for it or play it safe. With the unconscionable amount of cyclists killed by motorists in the wrong, compounded by a general lack of any legal action taken against the perpetrators, it’s very important that arguments for cyclist’s rights aren’t colored by situations in which we’re in the wrong. Unfortunately it looks like this is a case of the cyclist not only being wrong but making a conscious choice to take a big risk. We were gonna rant about this a week ago when it first hit the pipes, but elected to wait and see what came down the line. Leave it to the Chicago Trib and local blogs to kick off the maelstrom of typical indignation and idiocy, with random comments of levity and intelligence sprinkled throughout. Any death is a tragedy, and cycling fatalities and maimings are a black cloud we all roll under. The increase of cyclists on the streets raises the tally against us in pounds of flesh or worse. Cycling culture is on the rise and we all embrace the warmth of seeing more bikes on the road. Alleycats and other underground happenings are vital to the lifeblood of the culture, however like all things good, self-started and punk, they ain’t legal. That means in sad scenarios like Chicago’s 8th TdC, tragedy can have greater consequences. Right or wrong, the price is paid. All racers of future Stuporbowls, Monstertracks and the like, please ride with angels brothers and sisters. One only needs to look to DC for the regular posts with a heading ‘Biker Down’ to know the sad increase of more and more stories about the dead, the dying, the wounded, the falsely accused, the persecuted of this silent war we all fight. We’re dying, us riders of the free world, two wheeled human powered transporters of change. We’re being killed off, bumped off, forgotten, maligned, misrepresented. So when we ourselves elect to take that chance, to run that red light, to race into the maw of traffic – we’re missing the chance to make a difference. Or are we? Shits complex yo' - there are no simple answers.
Of the many soapboxes we’ve climbed upon over the years, the cry for pro cyclists to advocate for the average roleur in the street has not been heard for a spell. We’re excited to see what becomes of Dave Z’s efforts, a bit more guarded regarding news out of Austin from Mellow Johnny. Meanwhile, go ride - and safely please.